Scientists from Michigan Technological University have identified 11 new genetic variants linked to Type 2 diabetes.
With the help of Ensemble Learning Approach (ELA) software, the researchers have isolated 11 variations within genes-called single nucleotide polymorphisms, SNPs or snips, associated with type 2 diabetes.
"With chronic, complex diseases like Parkinson's, diabetes and ALS [Lou Gehrig's disease], multiple genes are involved," said Qiuying Sha, an assistant professor of mathematical sciences.
"You need a powerful test," Sha added.
To test their model, the researchers analyzed over 1,000 people in the United Kingdom, half with type 2 diabetes and half without.
They identified 11 SNPs that, singly or in pairs, are linked to the disease with a high degree of probability.
ELA is used to compare the genetic makeup of unrelated individuals to sort out disease-related genes.
The team has also developed another approach, which uses a two-stage association test that incorporates founders' phenotypes, called TTFP, that can examine the genomes of family members going back generations.
The team has published their findings in the European Journal of Human Genetics.